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Wistron Admits 'Mistake' at Karnataka iPhone Plant, Apologises to Workers, Removes India Vice-President

Wistron Bengaluru plant. (Image Credit: Reuters)

Wistron Bengaluru plant. (Image Credit: Reuters)

Meanwhile, Apple, for whom this factory was producing various parts for iPhones, has said that it has placed Wistron on probation and the company will not be receiving any new business from Apple until complete corrective action is taken.

A week after violence that broke out at Wistron factory in Karnataka's Narasapura, the company has admitted its mistake and offered apology to workers over non-payment of salaries to them. The company has also decided to remove its India vice-president Vincent Lee following the violence.

"This is a new facility and we recognise that we made mistakes as we expanded. Some of the processes we put in place to manage labor agencies and payments need to be strengthened and upgraded and we are taking immediate action to correct this, including disciplinary action," Taiwan-headquartered Wistron Corporation said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Apple, for whom this factory was producing various parts for iPhones, has said that it has placed Wistron on probation and the company will not be receiving any new business from Apple until complete corrective action is taken.

Apple, who was conducting a parallel enquiry into the December 12 violence incident, stated, "While investigations are ongoing, our preliminary findings indicate violations of our Supplier Code of Conduct by failing to implement proper working hour management processes. This led to payment delays for some workers in October and November."

On the other hand, Wistron has decided to recall their Vice President, Vincent Lee, who overlooked their India operations. "We are removing the Vice President who oversees our business in India. We are also enhancing our processes and restructuring our teams to ensure these issues cannot happen again," the company said in a statement.

Wistron further said that it would be starting an employee assistance program for workers at the facility soon and will be setting up a 24-hour grievance hotline in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and English, where all workers can voice their concerns anonymously.

On December 12, it was alleged that some of the contract workers at Wistron's manufacturing plant in Narasapura went on a rampage damaging equipment, office property and vehicles, causing Rs 25-28 crores in losses to the Taiwanese contract manufacturer and forcing it to shut the plant.

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had expressed concerns over the incident and said that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi was worried about the developments and that strict action would be taken against the culprits.

"Foreign companies are very important to us. These things should not have happened and the Prime Minister is also very worried about this development. We have instructed all authorities that such things cannot be repeated and we will give full support to that company and without any problem let them continue production and other things, Yediyurappa had told media.

first published:December 19, 2020, 15:46 IST